25 June 2007

from place to place, a summer of surprising vistas, dramatic change afoot

20 June 2007

19 June 2007


Environmental concerns in the city involve managing its extraordinary population density. Mass transit use is the highest in the nation and gasoline consumption in the city is at the rate the national average was in the 1920s. New York City's dense population and low automobile dependence help make New York among the most energy efficient in the United States. The city's greenhouse gas emission levels are relatively low when measured per capita, at 7.1 metric tons per person, below San Francisco, at 11.2 metric tons, and the national average, at 24.5. New Yorkers are collectively responsible for one percent of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions, though comprise 2.7% of the nation's population. The average New Yorker consumes less than half the electricity used by a resident of San Francisco and nearly one-quarter the electricity consumed by a resident of Dallas.

18 June 2007

SUMMER ADVISORY: another mini-break from routine, od'ing on "man-made marscarpone" rice pudding from Rice to Riches (Spring and Mott); travelling both locally and across oceans in the coming weeks (agriturismo!); may post as often as rain in a severe drought situation.

14 June 2007

Annals of New York Law

§ 245.01 Exposure of a person. A person is guilty of exposure if he appears in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.

Exposure of a person is a violation.

Nothing in this section shall prevent the adoption by a city, town or village of a local law prohibiting exposure of a person as herein defined in a public place, at any time, whether or not such person is entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.

[NAC NOTE: People v. Santorelli restricts the applicability of § 245.01. The Court of Appeals of New York ruled in 1992 that exposure of a bare female breast violates this law only when it takes place in a commercial context. As a practical matter, proper enforcement of this section can be a problem, since local enforcement agents are often unfamiliar with the case law that interprets the statutory language.]
In other words, hot sopranos can parade around New York City with their tops off, without fear of the law, so long as they're not actively selling their CDs and DVDs (or any of their stuff, for that matter) during such a walk.

The Met: the Wal-Mart of opera

On Huffingtonpost.com, some relevant commentary:

(I)t is clear that the agreements (with the unions regarding the Met's control over the creation and distribution of electronic content) are the lynchpin of The Met's venture into the Digital Age... or as the less-charitable among us would say, they are the lynchpin of The Met's transformation from opera house to electronic content provider.

It is utterly unclear what the goal of The Met's foray into electronic production really is. It is unlikely to be the oft-repeated goal of building an opera audience in general and a Met audience in particular, the ultimate aim of which is to increase ticket sales. It is more likely to be the creation of The Met as the Wal-Mart of Opera in the DVD era and beyond, in which The Met will cater to the customer's every operatic need, from CDs to videos to satellite radio to podcasts to theater simulcasts and, for all I know, video games ...

Continued union cooperation is by no means a safe bet. The safe bet, rather, is to assume that a union, when viewing a pot of money, is going to look for a substantial -- and ever increasing -- piece of it. It is unlikely to take long for the "new revenue- sharing model" to be subverted by greed, which is pretty much the way things have always operated in a market economy.

12 June 2007

06 June 2007

Touring. Back in a few days.

03 June 2007

not about netrebko

so I'm up early today because this f*ing mockingbird is outside my window doing a car alarm earnestly trills and variations and all but in the silence of a Florida dawn the performance has the resonance of one joan sutherland at the met it would have been a miraculous wondrous concert if i had gotten a full night but we were up late hope fading looking for cheap fares to europe so i went out into the dawn looking for the little twit and i found it perched proudly on cable wires smaller than my closed fist and i ran out of ideas quickly so threw pebbles at it yes throwing pebbles at 5am at nature but after a few bouts the mockingbird wins it always wins because it's mating and nothing nothing can stop that i know i know

02 June 2007

How to attract a new audience

(via TSR, and slightly NSFW) Buried in all the creepy subtexts is the juicy Don Giovanni of Mariusz Kwiecien, whose giovanitti has been making its mark on blushing audiences across the globe. Check it out in action in Warsaw (bottom picture) and more recently in Seattle (second picture). And very shortly, to Sieglinde's unmatched joy, it'll "explode" onto the big screen in San Francisco. Perhaps David Gockley is on to something after all. (Your move, Peter Gelb.)

More meat on the bone

(Hope Briggs) said that members of the artistic staff, including Music Director Donald Runnicles, had been cordial and complementary throughout. I talked to a few opera house insiders who said that they were shocked, because she’d turned in a fine performance at all rehearsals, including the last one, but they were afraid to let their names be used for fear of retaliation.

As a cynical old-school veteran of the civil rights movement, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a (perhaps subconscious) subtext here. This production is going on TV: it will be simulcast to a number of venues. Hope is a big, handsome dark-skinned woman, with strong African features—quite beautiful, but not exactly like most faces you see in romantic roles on TV these days.

Elza van den Heever, her replacement, whom I’ve heard many times and who also has a lovely voice, is a young South African woman of Dutch descent. She’s tall and pretty in a conventional European way, certainly destined for future stardom. I’m not willing to say that conventional racism affected Gockley’s decision to substitute her into the role, but by the standards of Texas, his last home base, Elza might be considered more telegenic, even though both are good singers.

Not ready for her close-up

M. C- at TSR is THE source for Bay Area opera news and gossip. For those of us spending too much time watching the sun rise on one side of the sky and set on the other, he recaps the latest scandale, this one involving an unusual 'firing' of a promising singer after the final dress, because she was not "ultimately suited" for the role of Donna Anna. Sieglinde is naive (please forgive), so she's asking if this has anything to do with the Gockley screen test. Hmmm, indeed. (And yes, even the NYT is on the story.)